What to Do After a Single-Car Crash
By Shamit Choksey, Cars.com
* Stay in your car until you can assess how badly you've been injured. If everything seems fine, just sit for a minute and collect your thoughts.
* If you suspect you have a serious injury, don't move until help arrives and your car can be stabilized.
* If the car is running, shut it off. Take the keys out of the ignition.
* Apply the emergency brake and turn on your hazards. If it's nighttime, leave your headlights and parking lights on.
* Call 911
* Determine if it is safe to exit the car. If you're unsure, remain in the car until help arrives, or exit with caution.
* If available, use cones or flares to warn other motorists.
* If you struck a deer, wait for authorities to clear it from the roadway.
* Assess your car from the outside. Make note of any visible body damage, leaking fluids, smoke from the hood, and tire and wheel condition. Take photos if you can.
* Assume that your car is not drivable. Driving it could cause further damage.
* Attempt to move the car only if it poses a danger to oncoming motorists in its current position.
* Inform emergency personnel if your car is a hybrid or electric car. The high-voltage components in these cars may require specialized training.
* Don't move the car unless it poses a threat to oncoming motorists.
* Don't lift the hood too soon if you're checking for damage. The burst of oxygen can make a small fire turn into a large one in a matter of seconds.
* Don't attempt to extinguish anything beyond a small fire. With larger fires, your car can explode. Move a safe distance away.
* Don't have your car towed until the police arrive. A police report will likely be necessary for insurance reasons.